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Oh This World

Author: Antoinette Perez and Lucas Schaefer

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A podcast for those inclined to take action. Our mission is to help Texans and people across the country hold our leaders accountable, and build an America that leaves no one behind. Join hosts Antoinette Perez and Lucas Schaefer as they explore the best actions to take as responsible citizens in this supremely uncertain new world (dis)order.
59 Episodes
In a bonus episode, Antoinette and Lucas talk about their own experiences during last week's Texas freeze, how the state got into this situation, and where we go from here. To assist those still recovering, you can find a list of volunteer opportunities in Austin here.To share your own story or thoughts, we're on Twitter @OhThisWorldPod or call us at (702) 907-RAGE. We may share your message in a future episode. This episode was recorded on Monday, February 23, 2021.
In our season two finale,  we talk to local activist and therapist Jason Sugg on what his work has been like the last four years, what he expects going into the future, and how we can be good citizens in 2021. We also close out discussion of our most recent OTW Book Club selection, GOOD CITIZENS by Thich Nhat Hanh; Lucas goes on one final TX21 rant; we talk about what we're watching and reading during this trying time; and offer a quick preview of season three. We'll catch you in a few weeks. In the meantime, let us know how you're feeling and what you're thinking by calling our RAGE Line: (702) 907-RAGE. Thanks for listening and be safe out there, y'all! 
We recorded this special episode Christmas Day to talk about the stories that stuck with us from this strange and hideous year, and to offer our best-of-2020 recs for Coping with Our Tizzies--the books, music, movies, etc. that helped us get through this mess. Among the writing we reference on today's show, you can find Katherine Morgan's essay "White Rage, White Guilt" from Bitch Media here, and Jessica Bennett's NYT piece, "What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?" here. As always, hit us up on the RAGE Line -- (702) 907-RAGE -- to share your thoughts and we may play them on the air. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram @OhThisWorldPod, and you can write to us at for listening. Stay safe and healthy and we'll see you in 2021! 
On today's episode we discuss Texas Monthly's annual Bum Steer of the Year, which they gave to the Texas Democratic Party, Lucas goes on an old-fashioned rant about gerrymandering, and we dive into this month's OTW Book Club choice, Good Citizens, by Thich Nhat Hanh. You can read the Katherine Morgan essay from LitHub, "About That Wave of Anti-Racist Bestsellers Over the Summer...", which we chat about briefly at the end of the episode, here.
On today's episode, Antoinette and Lucas check in with each other two weeks before the election. We talk early voting, the energy in Texas, and what voters need to do to flip the state. We also call attention to two recent election-related interviews: our conversation with Rebecca Bell-Metereau, the Democratic candidate for Texas State Board of Education, District 5, and our talk with Mathew Ruberg, DigiDem for the Wendy Davis campaign, who offers essential info on relational organizing in #TX21. Check them out! The time to get involved with both of these campaigns is now. We also wrap up our conversation on our current OTW Book Club selection, Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, and introduce our next choice: Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society, by Thich Nhat Hanh. Our hate-read of the week: this Washington Post column, which sent Lucas into a seething frenzy.Ideas for getting out the vote two weeks before the election? Thoughts on the book? Want to share a hate read of your own? Leave a message on our RAGE line: (702) 907-RAGE, or email us at You can  find us on Twitter and IG @OhThisWorldPod. This episode was recorded Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. 
This week a caller to our RAGE line asks an important question about relational organizing. With only a few weeks until Election Day, we turn to an expert: Mathew Ruberg, DigiDem for the Wendy Davis for Congress campaign here in TX21. Mathew takes us through what relational organizing is, how it works on the Davis campaign, how to get over awkward feelings about talking politics with your friends and neighbors, and more. Ready to get started reaching out to your contacts to flip this district? Join one of Mathew's virtual office hours to get going. You can sign up here. 
Today we sit down with the Democratic candidate for the Texas State Board of Education in District 5, Rebecca Bell-Metereau. We talk about why Rebecca is running, how you can help, and how the decisions the State Board makes affect everyone, in Texas and across the country. For more on Rebecca, or to get involved with her campaign, visit her website. Have thoughts or questions about today's episode, about politics and activism generally, or want to share the actions you're taking to win in November? Call our RAGE line and let us know: (702) 907-RAGE. Or drop us a line at You can also find us on Twitter and IG @OhThisWorldPod. Thanks for listening! This interview was conducted on September 23, 2020. 
We start today's episode with a caller to our RAGE line, which kicks off a conversation about the highs and lows of phonebanking and what we're doing to flip Texas blue in November.The majority of our show this week is dedicated to our OTW book club selection, Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen. We talk about the book, how we teach history in America, and why it matters. The NPR piece on Trump's ridiculous and ahistorical 'Patriotic Education' plan is here.As always, we want to hear from you. Call our RAGE line at (702) 907-RAGE and let us know what you're thinking about this week. Other ways to reach us: shoot us an email at or find us on Twitter and IG @OhThisWorldPod.We'll be back next week with an interview with the Democratic candidate for Texas State Board of Education, District 5, Rebecca Bell-Metereau. Thanks for listening, y'all! This episode was recorded on Sunday, September 27, 2020.
On today's episode we discuss the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and its implications, listen and respond to our first Rage Line callers, and offer final thoughts on "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo.We also unveil our OTW Book Club selection for the next month: Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, by James Loewen. In addition to talking about the book, we'll be speaking with teachers, candidates and others about education in Texas, the upcoming State Board of Education races, how we teach history, and more. As always, we want to hear your thoughts on anything and everything we talked about today. Email us at, Tweet us @OhThisWorldPod, or leave our message on the Rage Line: (702) 907-RAGE.This episode was recorded on Sunday, September 20, 2020. 
This week we're joined by Angela de Joseph to continue our discussion of white fragility in progressive spaces and to explore how the media covers women of color and race generally. Angela is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, health advocate, and the founder of Women of Color Roar Media.  Learn more about Women of Color Roar Media here, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can read Angela's op-ed on Kamala Harris in The San Diego Union-Tribune here. And don't forget, if you have thoughts or questions on today's show, any of our recent episodes, or on Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility," leave us a message on our RAGE hotline: (702) 907-RAGE. We'll play some of your responses next week!This episode was recorded in September 2020. 
After two weeks apart, Antoinette and Lucas reunite to discuss the news and recent forays into activism. (To see the recent Statesman story that drove Lucas straight up the wall, go here). For our main topic today, Antoinette interviews Fort Worth native Alexander Montalvo, a longtime volunteer, advocate and activist, about white fragility in progressive activism, as our OH THIS WORLD book club continues. It's a wide-ranging and thought-provoking conversation so tune in, and, after, share your thoughts on our new call-in line: 702-907-RAGE. We'll air your reactions to the issues Antoinette and Alexander discuss in this episode, plus your reactions to Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility" generally, in a couple weeks. This episode was recorded in the first week of September 2020. 
In this special episode, Lucas looks at how Wendy Davis and Chip Roy - the Democratic and Republican Congressional candidates in TX21 - have responded to COVID-19, and the strategies Rep. Roy and other Republicans are using to distract from their failures to lead during this pandemic.For a timeline of how the candidates responded, including screenshots from social media and links to the articles referenced in this episode, go here.
Welcome to Season Two of OH THIS WORLD!This season, we're focused on the big picture: for the rest of 2020, we'll be dedicating each month to an urgent issue facing Texas, and America. We'll interview activists, thinkers and citizens about how to engage on the biggest challenges facing the country. And we'll spotlight a book at the start of the month that will help inform our discussion going forward.But this isn't just a book club between our two hosts and our guests. We also want to hear from you, which is why we've set up a call-in line for you to comment on each episode and to answer some of the same questions we've explored on the show. The number is (702) 907-RAGE. That's (702) 907-7243. Call us anytime, and we may play some or all of your comments on air.This month our focus is on white privilege and fragility, and the book that kicks off our discussion is one that's been getting a lot of press lately: Robin DiAngelo's "White Fragility."On today's episode, Antoinette and Lucas talk about and reflect on the book, and connect it back to what's happening in the news right now.For Austin listeners, "White Fragility" is available on eBook and audiobook from APL, or buy it here. For a look at some of the criticism of "White Fragility" we discuss on today's show, check out this Daniel Bergner profile of Robin DiAngelo and other anti-racism educators from the New York Times Magazine, and this Carlos Lozada review of the book from the Washington Post. And to comment on the book or the issues we talked about today generally, give us a ring or email us at We'll have our first guest of the season next week. Thanks for listening! This episode was recorded on Saturday, August 15, 2020.
Antoinette and Lucas give a preview into Season 2 of OH THIS WORLD, coming August 2020! 
In our final episode of season 1, we take a look at the week in numbers, talk about what we learned and what surprised us during this inaugural Oh This World season, and share our recs for what we're listening to, reading and watching to stay grounded in this unsettling time.The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center dashboard is available here. You can read the Kyle Swenson story on the origins of the dashboard in the Washington Post. The Texas Tribune has more on coronavirus in Texas and on Gov. Abbott's mask mandate. The NBC News story on the end of the federal unemployment benefit is here. Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò's Washington Post column on the need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in America is here.Our weekend recs?Antoinette suggests Knives Out, while Lucas recommends the must-see documentary Welcome to Chechnya on HBO, about the anti-LGBT atrocities happening there, and the activists who are fighting back. He also suggests the horror podcast Radio Rental.We've had a great time Oh This World-ing with you this season. See you in August for Season 2!This episode was recorded on Friday, July 3, 2020.
Lucas read every single one of his far-right Congressman's tweets for a year. On today's episode he talks about why he did it, what he learned, and how citizen-activists across the country can use those lessons.Before we dive in, Antoinette follows-up on Monday's Confederate monuments episode with a story from the UK via Smithsonian Magazine. Then Lucas offers nine lessons he learned from following Rep. Chip Roy on Twitter for a year, and how citizen-activists outside of TX21 can use those lessons in their own districts.You can read the 2011 Barry Meier story from the New York Times about the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons here. The 2016 San Antonio Express-News piece on Chip's health care hypocrisy can be found here.Your calls to action: 1. Follow an elected representative in your community on social media for a week. Be cognizant of how they interact with the taxpayers who subsidize them, and whether or not the information they're sharing with constituents is accurate.2. Think creatively about how to spread the word if an elected rep is playing fast and loose with the facts, spreading disinformation, or treating constituents inappropriately on social media. Journalists can't monitor every politician's social media feed 24-7. It's on us citizens to stay informed and to keep our communities informed.This episode was recorded on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
On today's episode, Antoinette explores ideas that museum curators, journalists and historians have proposed for what to do with Confederate monuments after they've been taken down. After a brief follow-up on disinformation and social media nonsense, Antoinette leads us into our main topic, starting with examples of controversies over monuments and street names (and more street names) here in Austin. You can find the 2015 University of Texas report on campus statuary that we discuss on today's podcast here.Guiding the rest of our discussion today: this New York Times piece on finding homes for "toxic monuments," this super informative Q&A with historian Annette Gordon-Reed, and this from the American Alliance of Museums on whether or not museums are the right place for Confederate monuments. We also look at this Atlantic piece by Graeme Wood, who offers a more unconventional solution to the problem.Your call to action? Keep up to date with what is happening with Confederate monuments in your own community. Get involved in local conversations about what do to next. A key first step: take inventory of monuments displayed in your area, and if you don't know who the person is who is being honored, find out.This episode was recorded on Monday, June 29, 2020.
We start our grab bag episode, as we do each Friday, with a look at the week in numbers, and the numbers aren't good, especially here in Texas. After reopening too quickly and without adequate testing, Gov. Greg Abbott is now backtracking: closing bars he once allowed open, but still refusing to make masks mandatory. Over at Living Blue in Texas is a useful timeline of the governor's (non)-response to the pandemic. Don't forget: many Texas cities, like Austin, were handling COVID-19 responsibly until the governor overrode the decisions of local officials. Meanwhile, millions of Americans may face economic disaster when the enhanced unemployment benefits passed under the CARES Act run out on July 31.We also give a brief update on the situation in #TX21 with Rep. Roy's chief of staff, who earlier this month went on an unhinged, vulgar rant on social media. Next, Antoinette gives a 101 on the history of "dog whistles" in American politics. Some resources she recommends: this helpful piece from Ian Olasov at VOX; this story from CNN; and this excerpt from A People's Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter by Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith over at LitHub. (You can find the dog whistle-heavy article Antoinette dissects on today's episode here).Our weekend recs?Antoinette just spearheaded a family viewing of Silence of the Lambs. Lucas, meanwhile, devoured Lenox Hill on Netflix, and recommends the new documentary "Bully. Coward. Victim. The Roy Cohn Story," now on HBO. He also offers a mini call-to-action at the end of the episode.What are you watching, listening to and reading to stay grounded in this unsettling time? Let us know on Instagram or Twitter @OhThisWorldPod or drop us a line at episode was recorded on Friday, June 26, 2020.
Today Antoinette leads a wide-ranging discussion on political accountability and the conservative obsession with "cancel culture."First, an announcement: our first season of OH THIS WORLD wraps in less than two weeks, on Friday, July 3rd! We'll be off for the rest of July and back in August with S2.A few quick follow-ups from previous episodes: Antoinette recommends a recent Roxane Gay column and revisits the question of who *can* fire the police chief, Lucas relays a disturbing story out of #TX21, and we look at the role teenagers played in the low turnout at Trump's rally in Tulsa.For our main topic, we're talking accountability today: what it is, why it matters, and how we can hold our political leaders accountable. We also explore the related topic of "cancel culture" (which may be just another phrase for holding folks to account). Among the resources Antoinette references: pieces on "cancel culture" from Religion News and the Spectator. You can find more about the The Civility Project here.What can you do now?In the spirit of holding our leaders accountable, Antoinette encourages Texas listeners to join our friends at Indivisible Austin in demanding that AG Ken Paxton drop the Healthcare Repeal Lawsuit. And, as we've said many times before, the time to get involved with a Democratic campaign is now. If you're in the Austin area, check out Wendy Davis in #TX21 and Julie Oliver in #TX25, and get volunteering and donating today!This episode was recorded on Monday, June 22, 2020.
Today we look at the importance of some of the elected offices that get less attention during election season, talk about why they're important in 2020, and what you can do to get involved.To start, we review the importance of the Texas House and State Board of Education races in November, then turn our attention to the justice system. For more on the importance of electing progressive DAs, check out this NBC News piece. For some of the challenges facing progressive DAs who have been elected, read this. For more on José Garza, running for District Attorney here in Travis County, visit his website. The Austin Chronicle story on Garza calling for jail changes during COVID is here; more on his primary run-off against Margaret Moore can be found in Community Impact.You can get the basics when it comes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals here. The 2010 Andrew Cohen that we reference about Sharon Keller is available on the Atlantic website.Meanwhile, check out this Texas Tribune story for more on our embarrassing Ag Commissioner, Sid Miller. What is the Ag Commissioner actually responsible for? A lot, it turns out. Find out the details here.What can we do today?1. Research ALL the races in your district well before going to the polls. One good resource? Antoinette recommends the voting guide from your local League of Women Voters chapter. A sample can be found here.2. Get involved in a down-ballot race today. Good resources for Texans include Flip The Texas House, Swing Left, and Indivisible Austin. Or volunteer directly for a campaign.This episode was recorded on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
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